Interview with Endorphina
Endorphina is a dynamic iGaming development studio delivering high-quality and engaging RNG slot games with enthusing features in multiple jurisdictions. Amongst their iGaming hit titles, you will find Satoshi's Secret, Slotomoji, and Book of Santa.
Today, we are talking iGaming industry, the future of slot games, and we drill down Endorphina's recipe to success, with Jan Urbanec, the company's Chief Executive Officer.
Please introduce yourself, what you do, and what Endorphina is.
I am currently working as the CEO of Endorphina, a company that I am sharing my journey with for the past 7 years.
We are a company exclusively focused on slot games development and delivery - including a full technical solution, integration, support, and account management services. We're a one-stop-shop and offer the whole package. Our goal is to provide excitement and significant wins for players.
My role sometimes feels like it contains every position in the company. I need to be able to perform and understand at least the minimum basics in all parts of the business - finance, development, design, marketing, legal, and compliance, you name it.
The company started in 2012, almost a decade ago. What has changed in the iGaming industry landscape both positively and negatively?
The largest change is obviously the rise of mobile gaming. There was this invisible deadline that everyone expected and then experienced. That was the moment when more than 50% of online gaming revenues came in just from mobile. At this time, we are way past that line. But at the beginning of Endorphina's journey, this was still the future to come.
There has been a long period where everything was blooming in the iGaming industry. There was and still is a rise of new slot games providers. This is mainly thanks to the fact that the whole market is growing and new jurisdictions are opening.
This brings us to some controversial progress - the good and the bad when it comes to regulation. Europe is getting fragmented - the regulation of online gaming is splitting the industry. However, the playing field is becoming clearer and bad actors are getting slowly removed. The main idea of regulation is good, but some countries execute it in a way that damages the players more than to protect them.
Which jurisdictions is Endorphina really targeting, and what markets are you planning to enter in the future?
We have a strong foothold in the CIS market. This is mainly thanks to our business partners that know how to navigate the very specific conditions of operations there. But over the years, the introductory help translated into our own expertise in the region. And we can safely say that no operator in the region is complete and competitive unless they have Endorphina in their game portfolio.
Aside from that, we are licensed in Malta and Romania. At the same time, we are creating strong positions in Croatia and Belarus, a newly regulated market.
Our next steps in the European regulated markets are going close to home - Czechia. And after we conquered the hearts of the players here, we will proceed to Italy. We have strong ambitions to deliver our game experience to the whole European region, even if it is split right now.
What has been your experience with providing software to crypto casinos?
There are not that many specifics when providing games to crypto-focused casinos. However, we noticed that some differences do exist. Like the higher average bets of players. Player bet patterns change when the currency is experiencing growth or decline. Players react very strongly to this. Whether crypto is going up this week, our customers report to us a spike in player activity on cryptocurrency.
To this day, what have been your biggest and most popular titles?
We have had some very good performance with the Lucky Streak series (1, 2, and 3). This proved the proof of concept of what to do next. We followed up with another success, Chance Machine 100 and its sequels. Both of these series are topping the casino lobbies of our partners as we speak.
And of course, we have another strong franchise coming up that the players can look forward to. Stay tuned to our marketing releases so you do not miss it!
With at least twelve slot games a year, can you please detail your step-by-step pipeline from ideation to launch for each slot title?
Unfortunately, I cannot disclose the entire secret sauce. But I can get you a glimpse into the kitchen. We have our full team in-house, which allows us to manage our roadmap effectively and allow for some creative freedoms. For example, anyone from the art team can stand up and decide a theme and create a basic art concept.
If the product team is passionate about the concept, you may see this game eventually arriving in your favorite casino. Twelve games per year is not the finish line for us. We aim much higher in 2021 - we want to at least double this release speed.
Who decides and how do they decide on a slot's return-to-player rate, hit/win frequency, and variation?
In general, this is a core idea decided at the inception of Endorphina. Our games need to be in the close range of 96%. We believe this to be the driver of the player experience - the balance and magic of 96% RTP.
As a game provider, we would be happy to go higher and provide players with more wins by pushing the RTP a bit higher. Unfortunately, we have to keep in mind that for the last few years, higher taxes and high cost of player acquisition are creating bigger expenses for our operators. And we have to also keep in mind the operators profit.
Games developed by Endorphina offer a more traditional slot experience. This is a bit against the current trends of complicating slots in so many ways. What are your views on complicated gameplay experiences?
I personally enjoy a game that has new mechanics and a few overcomplicated features. But that is due to the fact that I love to keep up with what is new in the industry.
However, we cannot apply the same approach to our product. We have to keep in mind the identity of Endorphina games and our player base that has expectations of our releases.
We have to keep the "spirit" of Endorphina alive. One thing that we learned is that players are conservative. If suddenly Endorphina would start releasing Xscatter-MegaWild-TurboReels-EarthquakeLink games, the players may think that the company is going crazy. And that the original group of people that created their loved games have left.
Yet, we do not shy away from innovation. For example, we recently introduced "Bonus Pop" in our games, which is our version of the bonus buy feature. It has been done in a very delicate way and players welcomed this addition to our games.
Do you have plans to enter other RNG game categories?
In general, this is not our main focus. We love slots and making them. There is so much variety of what you can do. We have some ideas about roulette or video poker, but if we have to choose between releasing a great new slot or put time into table games - then the slots win!
What do you have in the pipeline for the next few months? Get our readers excited! 🙂
We recently released Joker Stoker - featuring an Endorphina spin on a classic. We could not resist, so of course, we have a female version of the Joker.
Also, Fruletta is coming! As the name implies, this is a fruit-themed slot with a wheel of fortune mechanic that has a special twist to it
The player will try to match the symbol from the wheel with one of the other three symbols in a mini-slot. The game is fast-paced and the player will see the feature often. Just stay tuned to be one of the first to try it out!